Updated 06 January 2003, 10.55
Five thousand hedgehogs on a remote Scottish island are trouble - they're eating lots of rare birds eggs.
Scottish National Heritage (SNH) says some of them should be killed.
But hedgehog lovers are furious and say they could just be moved to other areas.
How do you feel about this, and what do you think could be done instead of the cull.
Instead of moving the hedgehogs or killing them, why not move the birds to a new location.
Katie, 10, Colorado, USA
You don't have to kill the hedgehogs to keep them under control. There could be a hedgehog reserve in Scotland, where they could live freely but in captivity and under control. It could also be a wildlife education centre for the public, to prevent anything like this happening again.
Lauren, 14, Huddersfield
I think that they shouldn't kill the hedgehogs because they don't know that they shouldn't eat the eggs, they haven't been told. They don't know it's making these bird's extinct. Just like us they are trying to survive, and just like us they have to eat too.
Leah, 11, Tunbridge Wells
I have a hedgehog in my garden who creeps into my old rabbit-hutch where I leave food for him, I call him Gareth Gates. If that isn't cute enough to spare their lives, I don't know what is!
Sophie, 10, France
I agree with the protection of the endangered birds on the island off Scotland. However, I disagree with the proposed plan which seems to me the most convenient for people. I saw on a TV programme a woman from the Hedgehog protection society claiming that they had put forward a plan to remove the hedgehogs from the island and relocate them on the mainland. But the man she was talking to never responded to her statement and just kept saying that a cull was the only way to deal with the problem. Surely with the use of humane traps and some intelligent people, these hedgehogs could be removed from the island without them dying. I do not believe that killing them is the only option and if you do believe that killing them is the only option then I think you are not very smart.
Teya, 11, Leicester
I am so shocked! All I know is that I have seen baby hedgehogs and I helped keep them alive. They were sick at my school in the old forest thingy and so I took them to the teacher and we saved them. Killing them would be evil because they are such precious animals! It would be mean to harm them.
Kirsten, 13, Arkansas, USA
It isn't fair that they are killing hedgehogs for it is the way of life; animal eats animal. It's just like killing owls because they eat to many field mice. It's natural that species die out and that is the end of them. Everything doesn't live for ever.
I think that the SNH should agree to move the hedgehogs to other areas. If 2,500 hedgehogs die in the move then it's better than 5000 being killed on purpose. Humans are animals & we wouldn't like it if a bigger animal came & injected poison into us. We should all be treated as equals.
Kathryn, 12, Keighley
Hedgehogs are dying out on the mainland so the wisest thing to do is to try to re-populate the mainland. It's more humane.
Piran, 12, Kington
Killing the hedgehogs because they might, or will endanger the bird inhabitants of the island is stupid, I can't believe when they first introduced the hedgehogs they didn't think of this! I think they should take responsibility for their actions, by NOT blaming the hedgehogs but themselves.
Jane, 15, London
I think they should move the hedgehogs to a new habitat, despite the fact that it hasn't worked before. Killing them all is just too cruel and unnecessary.
Liam, 12, Wigan
Why do just have to kill hedgehogs, why don't you just separate the two species instead of killing them, killing animals is just absolutely revolting!!!!
Alice, 12, Burton-on-Trent
I think to keep the birds safe move the hedgehogs, stop them breeding or temp them with different food.
Sophie, 10, Scunthorpe
I find hedgehogs, one of the most adorable creatures on the earth. Killing them of WON'T solve their problem. They will also be ruining the food chain which will end up making other animals endangered as well.
Katherine, 11, Alton
I think that they should not kill them, they should find all hedgehogs and move them back where they used to live. Then everyone will be happy. If they kill the hedgehogs it will be animal cruelty.
Francesca, 14, Llangollen
Why should the birds be given better treatment than the hedgehogs. I think that if you are not careful the hedgehogs will be endangered. I would like to have more hedgehogs in my garden - we already have a badger who visits every night!
Robert, 7, Wootton Canterbury
Don't kill the hedgehogs, they have done nothing wrong. Does that mean we should be killed for eating sheep besides they're really cute.
Alex, 11, Northampton
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Anyone that kills hedgehogs are murderers. If you kill them you will end up wiping the hedgehogs out. just move them its better than killing.
Jackie, 11, Derby
I believe that killing any animal is wrong. However, I think that killing the hedgehogs for what is mainly human fault is worse. It is really our fault because we were the ones who took them there in the first place. This report is also similar to the fishing issue, if we can kill hedgehogs for the extinction of birds then why can we not settle the agreement over not letting cod become extinct too? Hedgehogs need food or they will die. If we start killing hedgehogs because they eat slugs, snails etc. they will eventually die out, after all we didn't care about the dodo's when they became extinct, which we were the cause of. I think that even if it is a long shot we should at least try to transport the hedgehogs to a different country/town.
Olivia, 12, Bradford
I think you should move the hedgehogs because even if half of them die then at least all of them wouldn't.
Jacqueline, 11, Derby
It's a horrible way to get rid of them. I would say just send them round to my house, as I love hedgehogs and had one in my garden once!!
Rhian, 11, Llanelli
I think it's the best solution for this situation, because the birds are rare and the hedgehogs are just eating up the eggs. I think the best solution is to kill 60% of hedgehogs and take the rest away. These hedgehogs are eating birds eggs because they're hungry, so give them more food.
Tanya, 14, London
I think they should move as many birds as possible into a sanctuary while they move as many hedgehogs as possible onto the mainland. Then once they've got a lot of birds release them again, but keep breeding them in captivity. And at the same time keep moving the hedgehogs. It'll take a long time but in the end it should be kind of OK. Oh and to all those people who keep saying don't kill them cos they're cute, well lambs are cute too but I bet most of you eat them!
Saffron, 13, Doncaster
Don't kill them, they are the best animals on this earth! They don't know what they are doing is wrong. Just have them moved or something!
Ellie, 13, London
I think it's just really really cruel and they should move the birds.
Katie, 13, Reading
I think that if there are so many hedgehogs there, why don't they move them over here since we don't have that many. And do something for the birds to raise their population. Why not ask viewers of Newsround to email in with some ideas?
Sammie, 14, Coventry
Hedgehogs are the cutest living animals on this earth, how could anyone kill one of them? It's inhumane to kill living animals. (especially hedgehogs)
Mel, 14, Ipswich
I'm veggie! And so is Laura from Southampton (she my m8!)! I agree! Killing all animals is evil.
Janey, 15, Hounslow
I think they are sweet! People think just that they have spikes makes them dangerous.
Leanne, 13, St Albans
NO! Little Gareth-a-likes! Ahem...it's mean! I think they should build a little sanctuary with beds and stuff...or summat else! Anyway they are hibernating now! Save the hedgehogs!
Laura, 13, Southampton
I feel sorry for hedgehogs, they deserve a good life. The one I have in my garden called Spikey lives off my cat's dinner. Give them a chance!
Laura, 10, Romford
How can you kill hedgehogs! It is NASTY!
Natasha, 13, Cambridge
I'm outraged by this report. I am a strong believer in animal rights. Those hedgehogs have to eat, it's not their fault they don't know right from wrong. Why don't they move them.
Victoria, 15, Portsmouth
I think hedgehogs should be looked after as there will be even more animals extinct.
Robyn, 14, Stockton
I bet most people here are not vegetarians. You kill millions of animals anyway you carnivores! You only like hedgehogs 'cuz they're cute'. Gimme a break. Go eat your steak. You're all heartless, however much you like prickly pets.
Hazy, 13, Cambs
I think that they should just move the hedgehogs or just move the birds, it's not their fault, they have to eat, when you have dinner we don't kill. So don't kill them coz it's not their fault. I feel very strongly about this! I think that Patrick, 12 from Pittsford is a cruel heartless monster!
Emma, 14, Maidstone
It's not right to kill them! They are only doing the natural thing! They should be released somewhere else!
Laura, 12, St Helens
I think they should move the hedgehogs somewhere away from the eggs, but don't kill the hedgehogs.
Surayya, 11, Batley
I think it is stupid to kill all those hedgehogs. They don't know that what they are doing is wrong. They are only trying to survive. Why can't they move the birds or the hedgehogs. Killing them is just not right and anyone who thinks the hedgehogs should be killed is so cruel.
Teleri, 12, Deganwy
They should move the birds, not the hedgehogs!
Move the bird eggs to a safer spot, but please do not terminate those adorably spiky creatures. It's their instinct and they should not be slaughtered for it.
Gigi, 16, Burbanj, CA, USA
I think they should move the hedgehogs because it's really cruel to kill them. The hedgehogs don't know right from wrong and there is no way of telling them that they shouldn't eat the eggs. The hedgehogs should be moved to somewhere as alike to the Hebrides as possible, but without the eggs and they'll find something else they like to eat.
Anna, 13, Edinburgh
NO!!! The hedgehogs shouldn't be slaughtered, they should be given to people (two to a garden) to eat up all the slugs.
Patrick, 13, France
I think they should not kill them to get rid of them. H'hogs are doing their natural thing and we shouldn't disturb that. I think they should send them to sanctuaries where people who care will look after them
Fiona, 14, Nottingham
I think the hedgehogs should be put on a big ship and be put to live in main Scotland.
Toby, 11, Huntingdon
I think I understand both sides. They have tried moving them, it just didn't work. Maybe they should move the birds to another place or put the hedgehogs in a wildlife centre that is securely fenced up. Then they could not harm the birds' eggs.
Stephanie, 11, Stoke-on-Trent
I live in the Western Isles and I know what it's like. Hedgehogs are everywhere! It's easy enough for people who don't live here to say that they aren't causing any problems but they are. Although killing them is very cruel if it's all they can do to help then I suppose they have to.
Sarah, 13, Isle of Lewis, Scotland
It isn't right to kill the hedgehogs, it's really inhumane and heartless, hedgehogs can't help eating the eggs, they don't know that they shouldn't. It's all part of the circle of life, it's like foxes eating farmers' chickens.
Kat, 13, Colchester
Killing hedgehogs is cruel! I agree with what Tom from Edinburgh said, just move them! Its better then killing them!
Kaleigh, 14, Wethersfield, USA
We put them there, thinking it was a good idea, now that they've gone the natural thing and breeded, we're killing them off. It's not right, it's our fault their there in the first place!
Maarten, 14, Weesp, Holland
I think this is nature. Humans should not upset the balance. And please don't kill these poor animals. That is pure evil.
Hannah, 11, Milton Keynes
They should take the eggs to a different place with their mums.
Grace, 10, London
If we were enjoying eating our favourite food and suddenly we were grabbed and killed, we wouldn't be very happy would we? I don't see the point of killing thousands of hedgehogs when you can easily move them to a different place. It's stupid killing lots of hedgehogs just for a few sea birds.
Shelly, 13, London
It's evil. It's quite nice when you see hedgehogs around so why kill them when there is a much more animal friendly answer. They could move them into an area with few or no hedgehogs with a endless supply of slugs!
Jessica, 14, Burnley
Send them over here, to the U.S. We don't have enough and you have too many. We treasure them as pets and you call them pests! It's a win-win situation!
Carrie, 16, Burbanj, CA, USA
It's not like hedgehogs are real humans and have feelings so by killing a few wouldn't be that much of a big deal.
Nareen, 12, Bedford
I think it is terrible! How many seabirds have you seen in your life? Then think about how many hedgehogs you have seen in your life. I bet you have seen more seabirds! I thought there wasn't very many hedgehogs and now they might kill them all.
James, 12, Ettrick, Scotland
It's not fair! They should just move them!
Tom, 11, Edinburgh
I totally agree with Tom, I mean, can't they just move them to a place where hedgehogs can live in peace?
Amber, 13, London
I think that killing the hedgehogs is really mean. I hope they decide not to do that and instead move them or something.
Kat, 12, Edinburgh
I say cook 'em up. Serve 'em with a nice white wine sauce and be done with it.
Patrick, 12, Pittsford
I think it's terrible! How hard can it be to control hedgehogs?! The Scottish National Heritage should be thinking about them too! Hedgehogs have to eat!
Georgia, 12, Wellington
Omg! Oh no!!! Don't start killing them!! They should definitely move them as Tom in Edinburgh says migrate them to other places where food they like to eat besides eggs are plenty!!
Stephanie, 13, Washington DC USA
Killing all animals should be band .how would we feel if we were killed by animals.
Suraya, 11, Batley
Who gives us the right to kill these lovely animals! There is enough room in the world for all of us...
Michelle, 10, Rustington
Killing Hedgehogs is not right! Moving them is NOT too much of a hassle. And anyone who says they should just be killed is a cruel heartless monsters!
Lizzie, 13, Scottsdale
It's not right to kill them they should just catch them and then release them somewhere else.
Christina, 13, Dublin
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